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Managing pullets for extended layer life, improved productivity and shell quality

With the move towards holding hens in production until 100 weeks of age, Australian egg farmers have stipulated a need to find ways to increase a hen’s productive life cycle while maintaining quality egg production. Currently, the birds being brought to lay are not ideal for being held in production until 100 weeks of age. The industry recognises the need to conduct research to identify practical management techniques that can be used to successfully extend flock life to 100 weeks and drive economic and sustainability improvements across the industry.

This project looks to complement a series of projects undertaken over previous years on feed efficiency and pullet nutrition and will explore the effects of diet and lighting on pullets from

The aim of this project is to evaluate the opportunities for growers to manage pullet rearing, through photo-stimulation and feeding for production requirements, both singularly or together, to improve flock uniformity, egg production and persistency of production, egg size and egg quality, from POL to very late lay. Hen physiology, carcase composition, bone strength and bird health will also be evaluated at POL and during lay. This will identify management tools that can be used by growers during rearing to generate flocks capable of persistent egg production and egg shell quality, with optimal bird health, until very late lay. Additionally the minimum bird weight beyond which bird performance is compromised is likely to be established.

Project date

1 Jan 2019-31 Dec 2021
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Principal investigator

Wendy Muir

Research organisations

The University of Sydney (USYD)

Project funded by


Australian Eggs

Australian Eggs is a member owned not-for-profit company providing marketing and research & development (R&D) services for the benefit of …

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  • Organisation type

    Research funding body

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